Russia trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine data, say UK, US and Canada

first_img“Selfish interests”British foreign minister Dominic Raab said it was “completely unacceptable” for Russian intelligence services to target work on the pandemic.”While others pursue their selfish interests with reckless behavior, the UK and its allies are getting on with the hard work of finding a vaccine and protecting global health,” he said in a statement. He said Britain would work with allies to hold perpetrators to account.The NCSC said the group’s attacks were continuing and used a variety of tools and techniques, including spear-phishing and custom malware.”APT29 is likely to continue to target organizations involved in COVID-19 vaccine research and development, as they seek to answer additional intelligence questions relating to the pandemic,” the NCSC statement said.The US Department of Homeland Security and US Cyber Command also released technical information on Thursday about three hacking tools being deployed by the Russian hackers, codenamed WELLMAIL, SOREFANG and WELLMESS.Private sector cybersecurity researchers who had spotted the WELLMESS malware over the last year were unaware of its Russian origins until Thursday.In several cases, WELLMESS was found within US pharmaceutical companies, said three investigators familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss confidential information. The tool allowed the hackers to stealthily gain remote access to secure computers. They declined to name the victims.Britain and the United States said in May that networks of hackers were targeting national and international organizations responding to the pandemic. But such attacks have not previously been explicitly connected to the Russian state. Topics : Cybersecurity researchers said an APT29 hacking tool was used against clients located in United States, Japan, China and Africa over the last year.Russian news agency RIA cited spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying the Kremlin rejected London’s allegations, which he said were not backed by proper evidence.In a separate announcement Britain also accused “Russian actors” of trying to interfere in its 2019 election by trying to spread leaked documents online. Russia’s foreign ministry said those accusations were “foggy and contradictory”.Britain is expected to publish a long-delayed report into Russian influence in British politics next week. Hackers backed by the Russian state are trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine and treatment research from academic and pharmaceutical institutions around the world, Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said on Thursday.A coordinated statement from Britain, the United States and Canada attributed the attacks to group APT29, also known as Cozy Bear, which they said was almost certainly operating as part of Russian intelligence services.”We condemn these despicable attacks against those doing vital work to combat the coronavirus pandemic,” said NCSC Director of Operations Paul Chichester.last_img read more

Bacolod boosts pneumonia, flu protection for elderly

first_imgPersons with disabilities aged 50years old and above also availed of free pneumonia and flu vaccination duringthe activity dubbed “Bakunado si Lolo at Lola, Iwas Pulmonya” with vaccinesprovided by the Department of Health in Western Visayas.(With a report from PNA/PN) Dr. Jovy Vergara, assistant cityhealth officer, said pneumonia ranks second and third in terms of morbidity andmortality, respectively, among those 60 years old and above. In 2010 alone, 57,809 deaths due topneumonia were recorded – making it the top five leading causes of death in thecountry, reports said.  Pneumonia causes inflammation of theair sacs in one or both lungs. It can be caused by a variety of organismsincluding bacteria, viruses and fungi. Symptoms may include breathingdifficulty, coughing, fever, and weakness. BACOLOD City – Around 1,000 seniorcitizens here received vaccination against pneumonia and flu as part of thecity government’s efforts to protect them from respiratory infections. Aside from weakened immune system,elderly patients with pneumonia are more prone to severe complications,hospitalization and death due to pre-existing health conditions and illnessessuch as diabetes, chronic lung disease and kidney or heart conditions, amongothers. The disease could be lethal orlife-threatening for senior citizens, Vergara added during the immunizationactivity at the Bacolod Arts, Youth and Sports Center on Thursday. In the Philippines, pneumoniaaccounted for over 57,000 deaths among Filipinos annually in the past decade,according to authorities. Vergara added most elderly patientsseek treatment only during the last stage of the disease. Vergara said pneumonia is avaccine-preventable disease, noting that the government is putting a premium onvarious programs like free vaccination especially among the elderly.  “Among the elderly, especially thosewith chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia is more dangerous astheir immune system is weaker,” he said.last_img read more